SEC Chair Gary Gensler testified before the House Financial Services Committee yesterday. This was the first time he’s testified in front of a GOP-controlled committee and, according to an article in The Hill, things went about as well as you might expect, given the current political environment. In addition to hammering the SEC chair on everything from cypto enforcement to climate disclosure, they also called him out for an alleged lack of transparency. Here’s an excerpt from The Hill’s article:
Throughout the tense hearing, Republicans expressed frustration that Gensler wouldn’t give them straight answers. They added that Gensler has failed to adhere to congressional inquiries. Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) said that when he asked for documents relating to the SEC’s rule to mandate disclosure of climate-related risks, the agency provided only publicly available information, including a letter from Huizenga and McHenry congratulating Gensler on his confirmation. “I have that one in my file already,” Huizenga told Gensler. “Frankly, it’s insufficient and unacceptable what has been going on.”
Huizenga and McHenry also sent a recent letter to Gensler requesting more information about the SEC’s charges against Bankman-Fried. Republicans have accused him of failing to prevent FTX’s collapse. Gensler said Tuesday that he is obliged to keep investigative matters confidential.
Unfortunately, while committee members also took him to task for the SEC’s aggressive regulatory agenda, Chair Gensler doesn’t seem to have tipped his hand in his testimony concerning when the SEC will act on any of the major rulemaking proposals that were targeted for final approval by the end of this month.
While some of the Democrats on the FSC tried to run some interference for him, all in all, it doesn’t appear that the committee should expect a five-star Yelp review from the SEC chair any time soon. In fact, the closest thing to good news that Gary Gensler received on Capitol Hill yesterday was the news that Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) still hasn’t introduced his “Fire Gary Gensler Act of 2023.”
– John Jenkins, TheCorporateCounsel.net, April 19, 2023